A sense of place: stories of stewardship from the National Park Service

In the treasure trove of the US National Park Service administrative history resources which highlight the thinking behind the management processes and development of the organisation I have recently stumbled across a set of podcasts which were originally produced as part of an oral history project with the Association of National Park Rangers (ANPR).

The interviews with retired Rangers and other NPS staff provide fascinating glimpses into personal histories intimately tied into the Service’s activities and more tellingly, ethos, ideas and philosophy – and where individuals see their role in the wider development trajectory for the organisation as a whole. The podcast episodes range across a broad range of management activity in the Parks which is public-facing, but also takes in the work behind the scenes to support that front line activity and lead to overall Park and Service development and ideas of what stewardship means corporately and individuallt.

The episodes are a real pleasure to listen to – not least because one of them touches on my own particular obsession around ‘official guides’ to sites, considering the history of NPS publications and site brochure design principles.

Link to the podcast series: A Sense of Place

Sector knowledge: exhibition – a journal of exhibition theory and practice for museum professionals

Journal Summary: Exhibition is a journal of exhibition theory & practices for museum professionals, published by NAME, the National Association for Museum Exhibition. It is published twice a year.

Publisher: NAME (National Association for Museum Exhibition) / American Alliance of Museums

Website: EXHIBITION ONLINE — National Association for Museum Exhibition (name-aam.org)

Access: Subscription; some open access (archive issues available)

Journal Type: Industry peer reviewed

Sector knowledge: Planning Theory & Practice

Journal Summary: Planning Theory & Practice provides an international focus for the development of theory and practice in spatial planning and a forum to promote the policy dimensions of space and place. The journal aims to challenge theory and change practice and is distinctive in its commitment to publishing content which combines intellectual rigour with practical impact.
The journal’s innovative Interface section adopts an original approach to stimulating critical and challenging debate through academic publishing. This includes promoting dialogue between the academic and practitioner communities, encouraging analytical reflection on practice and practical engagement with theory. Each issue of Interface offers a multifaceted investigation of a topical theme, in the form of a series of contributions reflecting on an issue from different perspectives. The journal’s Comments and Reviews section comprises Policy & Planning Briefs, which provide critical insights into key policy developments and analysis of spatial plans, Book Reviews, and Comments on a current issue and rejoinders to articles previously published.The journal is co-owned by the Royal Town Planning Institute and Taylor & Francis.

The range of Planning Theory & Practice includes:
• Developing the theoretical and methodological foundations of planning theory and practice, as well as urban studies more generally;
• Developing the contributions of the planning field to social science, both analytically and normatively;
• Exploring the relationship between theory and practice, including reviews which examine emergent practices and interpret them in the light of current intellectual debates;
• Challenging the impact of intellectual ideas through critical reflection and review;
• Examining policy development in particular fields such as housing, regeneration, transport, urban design, participatory practice, diversity and climate change.

Publisher:  Routledge

Website: https://www.tandfonline.com/toc/rptp20/current

Access: Subscription; some open access

Journal Type: Academic peer reviewed

Sector knowledge: Planning Perspectives

Journal Summary: Planning Perspectives is an international journal of history, planning and the environment. It offers a forum for scholars pursuing the histories of planning, plans and planners, and provides book reviews of all significant publications in the major languages. The journal is affiliated to the International Planning History Society (IPHS), the interdisciplinary network for planning historians worldwide. In order to raise awareness of current work in the field, IPHS has its own section in the journal, peer-reviewed on the same basis as regular papers but with shorter contributions of no more than 4,000 words. This section highlights research in progress and historiographical essays, as well as personal reminiscences, accounts of archival sources or datasets, reports of conferences, symposia and seminars and announcements of relevance to IPHS members.

Publisher: Routledge

Website: https://www.tandfonline.com/toc/rppe20/current

Access: Subscription; some open access

Journal Type: Academic peer reviewed

Sector knowledge: Journal of Urbanism – International Research on Placemaking and Urban Sustainability

Journal of Urbanism coverJournal Summary: The Journal of Urbanism is a multi-disciplinary journal that focuses on human settlement and its relation to the idea of sustainability, social justice and cultural understanding. It is concerned with the relative impact of design on environmental perception, urban livability and the experience of space.

The journal addresses a wide range of urban concerns, and aims, by publishing research from a variety of theoretical, methodological and conceptual perspectives, to create an attitude of sustainability toward urban form.

Publisher: Routledge

Website: https://www.tandfonline.com/toc/rjou20/current

Access: Subscription; some open access

Journal Type: Academic peer reviewed

Academic journals: Journal of Urban Design

Journal Summary: The Journal of Urban Design advances theory, research and practice in urban design. There is a growing recognition of the need for urban design in shaping, managing and improving the quality of the urban environment. It is now considered one of the core knowledge components of planning and architectural education and practice. Thus, increasing numbers of architects, planners, surveyors, landscape architects and other professions concerned with the quality of urban development are specialising in urban design.
The Journal of Urban Design provides a forum to bring together those contributing to this re-emerging discipline and enables researchers, scholars, practitioners and students to explore its many dimensions. The Journal publishes original articles in specialised areas such as urban aesthetics and townscape; urban structure and form; sustainable development; urban history, preservation and conservation; urban regeneration; local and regional identity; design control and guidance; property development; practice and implementation.

Publisher: Routledge

Website: https://www.tandfonline.com/toc/cjud20/current

Access: Subscription; some open access

Journal Type: Academic peer reviewed

Academic journals: International Journal of Heritage Studies

Journal Summary: The International Journal of Heritage Studies (IJHS) is the interdisciplinary academic, refereed journal for scholars and practitioners with a common interest in heritage. The Journal encourages debate over the nature and meaning of heritage as well as its links to memory, identities and place. Articles may include issues emerging from Heritage Studies, Museum Studies, History, Tourism Studies, Sociology, Anthropology, Memory Studies, Cultural Geography, Law, Cultural Studies, and Interpretation and Design.

Publisher: Routledge

Website: https://www.tandfonline.com/toc/rjhs20/current

Access: Subscription; some open access

Journal type: Academic peer-reviewed

The enduring love affair with railway design

As a nation, despite our grumbling about the state of the railway system and its operation, deep down we seem collectively to continue to have a close affection for ideas of design in the railways in Britain. Quite apart from the engineering aspects of the railway, rolling stock, engines and the perceived romanticism of bygone rail travel, the architecture and form of the infrastructure and the visual communication methods deployed by the rail companies themselves continue to have a distinct ‘heritage’ aesthetic, even when newly created. There has long been a tradition in railway advertising of using historic sites at locations which the railway served or passed by.

This has been seen most recently in advertising campaign rolled out by GWR – itself a relaunched heritage brand harking back to the days before British Rail (also a distinct heritage brand with a very strong design heritage). The advertising seen across the rail network in the west of England and in the London termini have drawn on the classic childrens’ literature aesthetic centred around Enid Blyton’s Famous Five to create a sense of adventure, discovery, social relations, holidays and the idea of it being fun to travel by rail. Various buildings and landscapes across the south west have been depicted as well, producing an interesting layering of heritage messages and associations with this form of travel

Academic journals: Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers – Urban Design and Planning

Journal summary: Urban Design and Planning publishes refereed papers and short articles addressing the design and planning of the built environment, emphasizing the interfaces between urban policy, design, construction and management.
Topics covered by the journal include social, economic and environmental aspects of topics such as sustainable settlements, community regeneration, urban infrastructure and transport systems.

Publisher: Institute of Civil Engineers (ICE) Publishing

Website: https://www.icevirtuallibrary.com/journal/jurdp

Access: Subscription; some open-access

Journal type: Academic & professional peer-reviewed

From transit to tapas and trinkets

Coal Drops Yard has now opened behind King’s Cross Station, London. Whilst snagging jobs are still being completed, and with retail units still to fill, the site remains a work in progress in a rebirth that has seen the area’s legacy of historic buildings change from hosting goods yards and activities associated with the railways and canals, to retail and catering outlets at the ‘craft’ and ‘high end’ of the commercial spectrum. New architectural interventions have been added, such as the striking new roof over the west side of the coal yard, and in fully redundant plots brownfield redevelopment is seeing new office and retail blocks with strong design signatures distinctly of their time. Residential blocks combine old and new forms, including the striking Gas Holder blocks of flats.

Following the successful heritage-led redevelopments previously of the main King’s Cross and St. Pancras Stations, the whole area is now a fascinating amalgam of old and new, and epitomises our shifting relationship with places of transit which now tempt us to dwell longer rather than pass through.